- OIL & GAS
Articles Tagged with ''communication''
How often do you thank the members of your safety team? Whether they are safety professionals or volunteers on your safety team or even people who have been appointed based upon their position in your organization, they are a special group of people. As a safety speaker, I always end any presentation to safety teams or leaders with a thank you on behalf of all the people they protect.
Former U.S. president Harry Truman had a rule: any letters written in anger had to sit on his desk 24 hours before they could be mailed. If at the end of the “cooling off” period, he still felt the same sentiments, he would send the letter. By the end of his life, the letters that Truman never mailed filled a large desk drawer.
Have you ever given thought to how powerful the written word is? Safety speakers and safety professionals are primarily communicators. Understanding the tools we use to communicate is critical to our success. In our field, you often hear phrases such as, “walking your talk,” “being a safety example” and the ever popular, “actions speak louder than words.” I would suggest words are, in fact, actions.
The regulation-oriented data tells us a part of the story with respect to training, incident records, safety meetings, work orders, policies/procedures and the like. Observations add a bit more insight to what our people are actually doing when they are occasionally being watched/evaluated by others.
Employees naturally want to feel “psychologically safe” when they express emotions, air complaints, or make suggestions. You know your workplace is psychologically safe when employees take interpersonal risks when communicating with team members and up the chain of command.
As I was catching up on the goings on of my friends and family on Facebook, I stumbled on a story of a teacher who truly knows how to communicate with students. First, the teacher made it a part of the job as a communicator to know and understand the audience. We, as safety leaders need to do the same.
Trust is one of the fundamental aspects contained in the British Health & Safety Executive’s ubiquitous definition of Safety Culture, which states “organizations with a positive Safety Culture are characterized by communications founded on mutual trust, by shared perceptions of the importance of safety, and by confidence in the efficacy of preventative measures”[i].
Butterflies in your stomach. Dry mouth. Fantasy of escaping through the back door. It’s inevitable: at some point in your career, you’ll need to speak in front of an audience. Whether at a small meeting, a conference, a general session, on a panel, or on your own.
If, after reading this, you have identified that you may have some features of a broken Safety Culture, or you just want to enhance your existing efforts, you may want to consider the following: